Ndue Ukaj


     Translated by Peter Tase

He has only questions, his answers so very timid

In dirty pockets with concreted nostalgia.

He has only memories that surround his neck

Like the millstone they shake him one step forward and a few backward,

While caressing in torrential waterfall,

And kidnapping the time which he never sees.

The time that he only dreams in endless nights.

He is not one of those below the sky full of storms,

Where he walks, where he eats, where he makes love and seating.

The fatherland of birds is the sky

Of the fish is the sea

Of the emigrant is sorrow

Which is multiplied like clouds in the turbulent sky.

On the unknown  roads, nostalgia shifts

While searching for one amid  endless zeroes.

Odyssey’s testament is burning in his hand,

And coal threaten fire; like tropical rays

Toward the missed Ithaca he directs his eyes

And he is exhausted day and night.

He  migrates on the roads of sadness

And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land,

And every night dreams the same dream.  The return to number one.

While the desert oasis swallows his aspirations, and memories.

Causing deep desperation to the Emigrant.

With the sack of sorrow travels through the roads of hope

Awaiting decisions to become as number one, in the endless zeroes

Every day waits for him the unknown in the forest of desires

Where it is relaxing, the soft vision and the deep meditation.

Like a freezing bird is searching the nest of hope.

And is covered with the quilt of Promised Land.

NDUE UKAJ (1977) is an Albanian writer, publicist and literary critic. He has been editor of Identity, the magazine for art, culture and society  published in Pristina. Ukaj is included in several anthologies of poetry, in Albanian and other languages. He has published five books, including “Godo is not coming”, which won the national award for best book of poetry published in 2010 in Kosovo. He has also won the award for best poems in the International Poetry Festival in Macedonia. A member of Swedish PEN, his poems and texts are translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Finish, Swedish, Turkish, and Chinese.